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When I think of fall flavors, I immediately think of the rich apple and cinnamon flavor of apple butter! Oddly enough, apple butter does not contain any actual butter. It is really just spiced applesauce that is cooked down to the point that all of flavors basically caramelize into a sweet, apple-y, cinnamon-y love in a jar.
The process to make apple butter is usually pretty time consuming if you make it on the stove or in the slow cooker. I’ve cut it down to a total time of 45 minutes by using the Instant Pot!
How to Make Apple Butter
By cooking in the Instant Pot, we cut down the time it takes to cook down the apples. To start, all you have to do is core and slice your apples. There is no need to peel them if you don’t want. I really like leaving on the peels because it is added nutrition and it helps deepen the color of the apple butter.
You can also use whatever apple variety you prefer or have on hand. I tend to go for the crunchy and super juicy varieties like Gala and Fuji. Go with apples that you enjoy to eat raw and you can’t go wrong.
From there, it couldn’t be easier. Throw your apples and the rest of the ingredients: water or apple cider, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, salt and vanilla in the Instant Pot. Seal, and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10-20 minutes, then release any remaining pressure. Next, you’ll use your trusty immersion blender to blend the apple mixture until smooth. You can leave some chunks if you like, but I prefer a smooth apple butter.
Finally, you can either set your Instant Pot to “Saute” and then press the Minus button to adjust to “Less.” Leaving on high saute caused the apple mixture to boil and pop a lot, so I found it easier to control by switching to “Less.” Saute, stirring occasionally, for 3-10 minutes until your desired thickness is achieved.
If you would prefer a more hands-off approach, you can transfer the apple mixture to a slow cooker. Prop open the lid with a wooden spoon to allow the extra moisture to escape and cook on low for 5-6 hours until the color has deepened and the mixture is thickened.
- 5 lbs Apples, any variety (I recommend Gala or Fuji)
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
- 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground Cloves
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Water or Apple Cider
- Core and slice each apple into 8 slices. You can peel the apples if you desire, but it is not necessary.
- Add apples and remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot, close vent and set on High Pressure for 15 minutes.
- Once timer goes off, let Instant Pot naturally release pressure for 20 minutes, then release pressure.
- Blend apple mixture in insert with immersion (stick) blender until smooth.
- Set Instant Pot to Saute and press the minus (-) button to adjust to "Less." Saute, stirring regularly, until desired consistency is reached, usually 3-10 minutes.
- Turn off Instant Pot and allow to cool. Store in jars in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to a year.
- For Canning: Heat 8 oz jars in a stock pot filled with water to boiling for 10 minutes. Heat lids and rings in a saucepan to boiling for 10 minutes. Fill jars with Apple Butter leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars before applying lids and rings. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars and place on a kitchen towel. As the jars cool, you should hear the lids pop as they seal. Allow to sit for 24 hours. Remove rings for storage. Canned apple butter can be stored at room temperature for up to a year.
Slow Cooker Instructions: Place apples in slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Blend apples with immersion blender. Add remaining ingredients (you do not need to add the liquid when cooking in slow cooker). Prop lid slightly open with a wooden spoon. Cook on low for 5-6 more hours until desired consistency.
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Serving Size:1 Tbsp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 18Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 25mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 0g
Free Printable Canning Labels
Home canned goods make the BEST gifts. You can feel good about giving a homemade gift to a friend, and they understand the time and love that went in to making that gift.
Make a batch or two of this Apple Butter. Process jars be using the water bath method described in the recipe card. Then, slap on these adorable “Apple Butter” labels I designed. They fit perfectly on the lid of a regular or wide-mouth canning jar. The free printable I designed is compatible with these 2 inch Round Labels from Avery. They can be found here.
Try my Apple Blondies for another delicious apple recipe!